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Hayne commission ‘should hang its head’ for not investigating super

Lachlan Maddock
— 1 minute read

Liberal MP Jason Falinski has accused Australia’s super system of leaving workers worse off as Labor promises a “bare-knuckle fight” over the guaranteed increase to 12 per cent.

Mr Falinski accused the superannuation system of “gobbling up” $30 billion in fees and charges while leaving workers worse off and said that the Hayne royal commission “should hang its head in shame” for not investigating it. 

“(The retirement income review) shows that the superannuation system that we have in Australia makes workers worse off over their lifetime. It is not an accident. It is the specific policy design of this system,” Mr Falinski told the House of Representatives during a spirited debate over the future of super. 

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Mr Falinski also said that his criticisms were not confined to industry super, saying “Retail super is just as guilty of this as any other superannuation system… the super guarantee makes people worse off.”

“Anyone with a calculator knows that our super system makes workers worse off. If the objective of the superannuation system is financial security in retirement then the Callaghan report makes it clear that owning or substantially owning the house in which you live is the best, fastest, most secure path to financial security in retirement,” he said.

Mr Falinski pointed to statements made by RBA governor Philip Lowe and the Grattan Institute as evidence that others shared his party’s concern around the efficacy of the superannuation system, while shadow minister for finance Stephen Jones accused the government of a co-ordinated attack on superannuation and warned that Labor would fight any attempt to freeze the guarantee. 

“Since the election we’ve seen members of the government backbench running around on an authorised campaign to undermine the superannuation system,” Mr Jones said. 

“If the government thinks that we are going to let them get away with breaking a solemn promise that they made to the Australian people to leave superannuation alone, they’ve got another thing coming. They are in for a bare-knuckle fight. We will not let them get away with it.” 

Standing committee chair Tim Wilson, another strident critic of superannuation, was ejected from the chamber prior to the debate under standing order 94a – the so-called “sin bin” for disorderly conduct.

 

Hayne commission ‘should hang its head’ for not investigating super
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